Ants are more commonly seen in the spring and summer months in Missouri, but they can become a household pest regardless of the season. Ants are extremely interesting creatures and live within a complex social structure that can include thousands of colony workers. When one ant is seen within the home, there is a good chance that the colony has already infested. To prevent this from happening, it is important to know what attracts ants inside a home, and to ensure your home does not have any of these temptations, so you can keep the ants outside where they belong.
Food is by far the biggest draw to ants. Worker ants are always on the hunt for food. Although ants typically prefer sugary substances, they will eat just about anything. As they hunt for food, they also leave a scent or pheromone trail behind them. This trail allows them to easily find their way back to the colony, but it also provides a path for other ants to follow so they too can forage for food and bring it back to the queen.
To deter ants from entering a home, it is important to keep the kitchen area particularly very clean. Refrigerate produce when possible, always quickly clean up spills, and ensure that countertops and the pantry is always clean of crumbs and other food spills.
Like all animals, ants need water to live, but they do not always need a direct source. Many ants get all the water they need through the food they eat. The amount of water any ant will need will largely depend on the type of ant. Pharaoh ants, for example, must nest close to a reliable water source, while carpenter ants are drawn to damp wood. Of course, it is important to ensure there is no standing water outside, but also address any plumbing issues, such as a leaky faucet, that could also act as a draw for ants.
Ants, like all other insects, are cold-blooded and rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature. When the weather starts to turn colder in the fall months, ants may come inside where it is warm and where they can expand their colonies. Being inside during this time also allows ants to remain close to a food source, and find the moisture they need. Unfortunately, due to the fact that humans also need to live in a comfortable environment, there is little that can be done to prevent ants from coming into the home for this reason.
The best way to prevent ants from turning your home into theirs during the cooler months is to continue with ant prevention practices. Keep a clean home, ensure that fixtures are watertight and are not leaking, and ensure all garbage cans in your home, including a garage or shed, have tight-fitting lids. One of the best prevention tactics is to also inspect the outside and inside of your home, particularly the areas around doorways and windows. Ants can make their way in using the smallest of gaps or cracks. Sealing these off will block any entry points, so ants can remain outside all year long.
Reproduction and Propagation
Homeowners are most likely to encounter flying ants in the spring. Flying ants are reproductive ants and as the colony matures, its population grows. Flying ants develop within their colonies before they emerge and perpetuate the species. After the ants mate, the males die and the female becomes the queen that will search for places to build their new colonies. When these swarms are seen in the winter, it may mean that carpenter ants are nesting within the structure, which is a very serious problem and may require professional help. Without the help of a professional pest control company, the only real way to get rid of these ants is to vacuum the swarms and take the vacuum or the bag outside to release the ants.
Our Missouri Pest Control Company can Help with Your Ant Problem
Unlike other insects, ants do not generally pose a threat to humans, but they are annoying and can sometimes cause damage to a home. If you are dealing with an ant infestation in your home, our St. Charles pest control company can help. At Amco Ranger, we have the necessary experience to eliminate ants from your home, and keep them out. If you have a problem with ants or any other pest, call us at (636) 223-5703 or contact us online to schedule a free inspection.